Tamara L (Tammy) Brown
Assistant Professor of Speech Communication
Northwestern, BS in psychology, minor in speech (1992)
OU Health Sciences Center, MS in speech language pathology (1994)
OU Health Sciences Center, PhD Educational Psychology with emphases in educational psychology, research and statistics, speech and human development. (Dissertation on hold due to health issues.)
Tammy is the former Tammy Barton and is married to fellow alum Scott Brown. They have two children. Most of Tammy's time outside of work is spent with her kids and attending their activities. Her daughter loves art and music while her son’s passion is sports, so they stay busy with different practices, lessons, camps, games, concerts, etc.
Tammy said they also enjoy “family fun night” where they play Wii, go bowling, play games, or watch a movie together.
"I am unable to draw a line between my personal and professional lives as Northwestern is a huge part of our family," Tammy said. "My husband is also an alumni and both my father (John Barton) and my father-in-law (Dr. Kenneth Brown) were long-time faculty at Northwestern. I am thrilled that my children are experiencing the positive aspects of Northwestern as I did growing up. They are always thrilled when they have a student teacher who is one of my former students, and they love to attend various university events."
Tammy said that the little bit of time she has to herself is spent reading, baking or playing cards with her friends and/or family. And, she also enjoys a rare “date night” with her husband to enjoy a quiet, peaceful dinner and maybe a movie. As a family, the Browns like to go to Broadway shows that come to Oklahoma City or Tulsa, and so far, her kids’ favorite is Lion King.
Q: What is something about you that not many people know?
A: I absolutely love to play Wii sports…bowling is my favorite. I love to play pitch or spades with my family or friends or whoever will play with me! I also love to watch Lifetime movies!
Color: Red, purple, green and navy blue
Type of Music: Classic ‘80s and ‘90s, Top 40 and country
Musical Artist: Bon Jovi, Eagles, Chicago, Whitney Houston, Martina McBride, Reba McEntyre and Garth Brooks
Book: Anything written by Nicholas Sparks or Mary Higgins Clark
Food: Spaghetti, peanut butter, chocolate
Movie: Pretty Woman, Body Guard, The Notebook, Sleepless in Seattle
TV Show: I just got into the reruns of Desperate Housewives, any Law and Order shows, House, Army Wives
Actor/Actress: Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks
Season: Spring or fall
Drink: Coke, but I try not to drink it! I drink iced tea with Splenda instead.
Sport to Watch: Baseball if my son is playing; otherwise, it’s basketball.
Animal: dogs. I’ve almost always had a dog as a pet throughout my life. They add so much to a family!
Vehicle: I love my Explorer! Much better than the minivans I used to drive!
Favorite Day of the Year: May 29 – my anniversary
Best Memory: the births of my children; my wedding day was a great day, too!
Favorite Inspirational Quote: “Strive for Excellence not Perfection.” This tells me that although perfection is probably not going to happen, you can always get better and better as you strive for a high standard.
“Let Go and Let God.” This one has gotten me through some tough times! I had a teacher in grad school who told me if you ever feel like you know everything there is to know in your particular field, you should get out because you are burned out. There is always something to learn, so “never stop learning.”
Q: As a faculty member, why did you choose Northwestern?
A: The most important aspect of my career is being able to help others. At Northwestern, the smaller class size has allowed me to get to know my students and work closely with them. I have been given the opportunity to influence a number of students and to help them achieve their learning and career goals. In addition, as an Alva native and Northwestern graduate, I have a long history with Northwestern. I have great memories of Northwestern as a child growing up in Alva, including attending theatre and music productions, sporting events and the Homecoming parade. I wanted my children to have these same experiences. As an undergraduate student, I had fantastic learning and collegiate experiences at Northwestern, and I am honored to be a part of providing those experiences for others.
Q: If you had a chance to tell a prospective student why they should choose Northwestern, what would be your compelling short speech?
A: Northwestern is truly a home away from home. The number of students is great enough so students can meet a multitude of interesting people from a variety of backgrounds and can make new friends while nurturing existing friendships. It, however, is small enough to maintain a “home away from home” atmosphere. The class sizes and student/faculty ratio allow for students to really get to know their professors. From my experience, our professors really care about our students and helping them achieve their learning goals. In addition, students are able to continue to participate in different activities while focusing their studies in major and minor areas.
Q: What makes Northwestern unique from any other university you may have taught at or even attended?
A: At OUHSC, we were students and only students. Other elements of our lives were left outside of academics. At Northwestern, most professors realize that students are people who have other responsibilities outside of school. Although we as professors expect (demand) that academics are a priority, many of us are able to balance that with helping students learn to balance demanding schedules and be successful.
Q: What do you like most about teaching in your subject area?
A: I like the camaraderie within the Communication Department. In addition to strong student-faculty relationships, the students create strong relationships with each other and work together throughout their education. The faculty within the program have strong relationships with each other which help us fully serve our students as we are able to work together to assist students with achieving their learning goals. I believe that the faculty realize and implement the idea that earning a college degree is really hard work; however, it can be fun, too.
Q: What does “being a Ranger” mean to you?
A: Being a Ranger means being dedicated to Northwestern and its students, faculty and staff. This dedication means you concentrate on the strengths of Northwestern while helping improve the weaknesses. You represent Northwestern in a positive manner at all times, and you must serve Northwestern and its students as necessary. A true Ranger serves the university itself, as necessary, so that the university can serve its students to the best of its ability.
Q: While here at Northwestern, what rewards/awards have you received through teaching or making a difference in the life of a student?
A: For the 2004-05 school year, I was presented the John Sheffield Teacher of the Year Award as voted by SGA (Student Government Association). This was a huge honor as it came from the students, as well as it recognized my dedication to the students. In the 2005-06 school year, I was given the John Barton Distinguished Teaching and Service Award. The winner is selected by a panel of individuals representing different aspects of the Northwestern family. There are many personal aspects to winning this award, including the fact that I have mirrored my life professionally and personally to my parents and their lives. Receiving an award that indicates I am truly following in the footsteps of John Barton, my dad, for excellence in teaching as well as in serving Northwestern and the Alva community means so much. Having bragged on myself a little, I want and need to mention the greatest awards of all … my students and their success.